27/03/2004 | Writer: KAOS GL

Symposium dates: 7-8 of May 2004, Istanbul, Turkey

Lambda Istanbul LGBT Civil Society Initiative and Istanbul Bilgi University work in cooperation on LGBT rights symposia in order to raise the awareness on the issue and to avoid discrimination against LGBT community in Turkey. Last year in May 2003 the first work has been accomplished with the symposium on Discrimination and Violence Against Homosexuals; which has been very successful and caught the attention of mass media. The cooperation between the activists and the academia was meaningful for exchanging experiences and for opening new platforms of interaction. Since the Turkish society is still prejudiced and poorly informed on LGBT issues traditional heterosexist and patriarchal way of thinking reigns on the interpretations of the subject.

To move one step further after having discussed the urgent problems of ignorance and discrimination on LGBT issues last year in May 2003, Lambda Istanbul and Istanbul Bilgi University decided to organize another symposium this year called Understanding Gender Identities and Sexual Orientations in Turkey; in 7-8 of May 2004.

With that we aimed to inaugurate a broader discussion on all sexual orientations and gender identities in our region of multi cultural geography. Furthermore we aim to reach to a common understanding for certain safeguards to prevent discrimination in various rules and regulations including relevant social institutions in which we particularly aim to encourage the bar association in Turkey to establish LGBT rights defending sections. These are only to be realized with self-respected and self-assured LGBT community who is nonetheless to be encouraged for demanding their rights in certain cases of discrimination. Therefore the legal visibility of this discussion will help the LGBT community to be aware of its rights and to raise their consciousness of their various identities.

The content of the symposium will be so organized that also students can be attracted through a general introduction on gender and sexuality. The ambiguous concepts of masculinity and femininity will be discussed in relation with certain faces of militarism. Sessions on variety of gender roles and sexual orientations in Turkish history and historical texts will be included. The universality of the problems and specific ways of solving them are aimed to be indicated through international guests.

The content of the symposium is below:

Understanding Gender Identities and Sexual Orientations in Turkey

A symposium to be held by Lambda Istanbul and Istanbul Bilgi University on 7-8 May
2004 at IBU Kustepe campus.

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